Archives for posts with tag: secret penal system

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In 2010 the incoming government was handed a note penned by departing treasury minister Liam Byrne which read, “Dear chief secretary, I’m afraid there is no money. Kind regards – and good luck! Liam”. It was, of course, a joke, the kind of joke shared between colleagues which us Brits are, or were, rather good at.

We are known the world over for being self deprecating, we love to talk ourselves down, something that leaves many of our American cousins scratching their heads.

In the face of uncompromising disaster, some wag will crack a deadpan funny or make a towering understatement. as the Captain of the Titanic might have said to his First Officer that fateful day in 1912, ‘Well that’s a bit inconvenient, Bill’, to which the response might have been, ‘Indeed, Sir’.

Byrne’s note was a classic, an in joke, and when David Cameron made political mileage out of it, all he really did was reveal himself to be the crass opportunistic oaf he was and remains to this day.

Cameron went on to fundamentally change British politics and the social landscape with all the heavy handed crassness the worst of the privileged elites have to offer, epitomised by tales of burning £50 notes under the noses of homeless people. When Lord Ashcroft alleged in his book, ‘Call me Dave’, that Cameron had put ‘a private part of his anatomy’ into a dead pigs mouth, it was an act of revenge and bitter rivalry between posh boys, but entirely believable because that’s the kind of people they are.

Cameron successfully diverted the nations attention away from the bankers who had crashed the global economy and who had been bailed out by bewildered tax payers, money that paid for their continuing bonus culture and Stock Exchange gambling habits, to blame it all on the poorest and most vulnerable people in society. He paved the way for an obscene outpouring of poverty porn and lethal hatred of all those on benefits, in which the symbol of burning £50 notes under the noses of homeless people translated to, ‘Why should ‘we’ pay for scum?’

To succeed in the Tory long held dream and long term plan of ripping the heart out of Britain’s system of health and social care, frontline services, education, publicly funded services and to asset strip the nation, Cameron was the perfect front man, along with coked up fellow Etonian rich bitch George Osborne. To the mantra of ‘we’re all in this together’, Cameron launched an all out war on poor, sick and disabled people not seen since Victorian times.

The remit for hounding the poor to death, fell to David Freud, Iain Duncan Smith and Esther McVey, loathsome individuals who between them turned Britain’s system of social security into a secret penal system with the introduction of brutal welfare reforms, under the guise of Universal Credit, Fit Notes, sanctions, benefits denial and Workfare, 500 disabled people a week having their Motability vehicles stolen from them, and seeing off tens of thousands of lives.

In 2017 this is routine, even Frankie Boyle seems to struggle to find a joke about Britain under Theresa May who is now so inhuman she’s called ‘Maybot’ and listening to Tories speak, they wouldn’t even pass the Turing test as even remotely sounding like anything human. In February Jeremy Hunt went off to America for secret meetings with health care companies and our NHS stands on the brink of full privatisation. Iain Duncan Smith is rewriting history as if he was some kind of saviour of the poor and Theresa May is behaving like a tin pot dictator having a constant paddy that anyone dare question her divine right to rule as she sees fit, even declaring in Parliament about the prospect of a Labour government, “We will never let it happen.”

Meanwhile, in a parody of Labours Momentum, Jacob Rees-Mogg is running a leadership campaign called ‘Moggmentum’ which, astonishingly, is attracting a good many Victorian minded, cap doffing, sycophants for whom, doubtless, the reintroduction of workhouses might be seen as the solution to the poor problem, whom Rees Mogg has consistently voted against, from scrapping human rights to the imposition of mass surveillance, welfare cuts and against guaranteed jobs for young people. He’s a walking relic of a bygone era which the Tory party are hell bent on driving us back to, and for Rees Mogg to consider that his time has come says everything we need to know about the direction we’re headed.

In all of this, however, something is happening for which these hide bound privileged elites have no answer other than to hit back with vile slander and hate filled language. Ordinary people have had enough, and, despite the closed ranks of the privileged, are eloquent in saying so and if some speak out in affronted spluttering rage, better that than the deceitful xenophobic tones of spite with which our lives are scorned.

These days Britain is looking ever more like a monstrous Titanic and like the Titanic there are (seemingly) not enough life boats for the many, but unlike the real Titanic, those who are securing safety for themselves are the very people who are sinking the ship and care nothing for those who are losing their lives. Where once it was women and children first, these days, it’s the privileged and powerful first and only, the rest of us can sink or swim. It is impossible to imagine Theresa May saving anyone but herself. There can be no more horrifying symbol of this titanic and deliberate national injustice than Grenfell Tower.

Grenfell Tower should remain as monument of our times as a warning to future generations to never again allow humanity to become enslaved to money. Life is too precious to be allowed to be auctioned by those whose only god is greed.

KOG

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/david-cameron-put-private-parts-6484611

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/iceland-has-jailed-26-bankers-why-wont-we-a6735411.html

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/feb/13/poverty-porn-blights-the-lives-of-people-claiming-benefits

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2009/oct/08/david-cameron-speech-in-full

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/may/13/suicides-of-benefit-claimants-reveal-dwp-flaws-says-inquiry

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/disability-benefits-motabililty-rule-change-disabled-people-vehicles-dwp-a7191636.html

https://www.thecanary.co/2017/02/06/jeremy-hunt-caught-secretive-trip-us-looks-like-bad-news-nhs-tweets/

https://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-accb-IDS-rebrands-himself-as-saviour-of-welfare-state#.WWOGbVGQyUk

http://www.bbc.com/news/av/uk-politics-40510376/pmqs-theresa-may-gives-a-warning-about-jeremy-corbyn

https://sciscomedia.co.uk/earth-tories-launching-moggmentum/

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Readers might be somewhat put off by a silly, perhaps frivolous, attempt to portray the Labour and Tory leaders as characters from a movie, but the truth is that we’ve gone a very long way beyond that, so please bear with me.

For over a week now I have had a growing ache in my body, a wrenching ache that has steadily increased. I have felt the need to rest more, to sleep it off, but it is relentless and the very simple fact is that I am living on the edge of tears that will, at some point, release, but the problem remains.

I am outraged at the farce this election has already become, the power games Theresa May is playing, the lies and deceit and the vile twisted spectacle of it all.

My response has been mixed, from sharing some of the stories going the rounds which I felt needed sharing, to mocking and satirising the whole damned ludicrous ‘thing’, to sharing the policies that should be the real story but which are being smothered to the point of banality by ‘spectacle’.

The facts are that we’ve lived through seven years of Tory hell and thousands of people have died. They are stealing our NHS right from under our noses and if they get in again it’ll be all over for our most treasured institution and our greatest national achievement. They have turned the national safety net, our system of social security, into a secret penal system driving people into despair and death and attacking the weakest and most vulnerable people in the UK. Since 2010 food banks and food bank usage have gone through the roof as has poverty. And those are but a very few issues that we face which will, of a certainty, get very much worse if the Tories get back in.

I am getting on in years, I live on ‘my’ state pension, I have terminal cancer and I struggle with mental ill health and the brutal callousness of the Tories has had a dramatic affect on my life. I have little hope that my remaining years under a Tory government will be in any way peaceable and the reality is I do not expect to survive another five years of Tory misrule and their callous brutality. I do not require anyone’s pity, but I do require of myself that I face reality. I will fight these bastards to the bitter end but I have no plans to lose my sense of humour, my love of life and nor do I have any intention of giving up fighting for justice, but it hurts and it hurts badly.

I’ll find the release in need in tears, I’ll take their healing balm and I’ll go on, I will not fall into despair, endless depression and futility.

This is no film, some romantic dreamscape in which good triumphs over evil in a pre-scripted plot, but nor can I ignore these times in which the plots of a million films are being lived out. because this is fundamentally a war of good against evil, although I never thought I’d live to see such a thing.

Since coming to power in 2010 the Tories have been conducting a war on the poor with brutal contempt for our lives. Theresa May can hide in her exclusive gatherings of the Tory faithful, to the exclusion of all others, including the press, and pretend she’s the ruling matriarch of Britain. She may even believe she has some divine right to rule and she may be planning a coup if she does not, who knows? We’ll certainly never know from her or her sick party of the privileged.

Jeremy Corbyn won’t play their games, he won’t join their macabre pantomime, nor indulge in the name calling, dirt scraping, tactics so beloved of the right. And yes he does rather resemble Obi-Wan Kenobi, played so well by Alec Guinness and Theresa May does resemble the evil Emperor Palpatine played by Ian McDiarmid. And there is steel in Corbyn that May can neither emulate nor overcome. The force is as strong in Corbyn as the farce is in May. Overcome we shall, overcome we must, because our lives really do depend on it. This is the fight of and for our lives.

KOG. 03 May 2017

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/social-care-scandal-tory-cuts-9836261

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/aug/27/thousands-died-after-fit-for-work-assessment-dwp-figures

http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2017/02/18/tory-cuts-have-caused-thousands-of-deaths-again-they-are-denying-it-with-nonsense-claims/

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/nhs-health-service-healthcare-privatisation-a7160771.html

http://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2016/05/05/benefit-sanctions-are-britains-secret-penal-system/

https://www.crimeandjustice.org.uk/resources/benefit-sanctions-britains-secret-penal-system

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/disability-benefits-motabililty-rule-change-disabled-people-vehicles-dwp-a7191636.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/food-bank-usage-at-record-high-reveals-trussell-trust-a6984921.html

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/mar/16/child-poverty-in-uk-at-highest-level-since-2010-official-figures-show

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Whether I am given a parking fine, a court summons for not paying my council tax and imprisoned, made bankrupt or homeless as a punishment, fallen behind in my rent because I have too low an income to cover the market rent and am forced to choose between eating and rent, sanctioned and deprived of all income for being a minute late for a Jobcentre appointment, in fact, name the countless ways in which we can be punished for financial want, these are paper crimes. There is no motive of harm or wilful hurt caused to another and, excepting the very few who defraud for personal financial gain, these are what I would call crimes of innocence.

In Britain we have two types of law, as best as I can understand it, Common Law and Civil Law.

Common Law is set by precedent and is also known as Case Law and Natural Law, evolved and developed over time by the court system and comprises what we know as natural justice.

Civil Law or Statute Law, is set by parliament and whatever passes in parliament goes on what we know as the statute books. The definition of Statute Book is the: “Chronological collection of the statutes approved by the legislative body of a country and forming its legal code.”

Britain is a confusing mixture of both these forms of law.

Readers may remember when I attempted to bring charges against Iain Duncan Smith and (Lord) David Freud under the Human Rights Act for depriving people of the means of survival and therefore infringing their right to life. What I unwittingly came up against was a conflict between two statutory laws and was informed by the Police that in order to challenge the sanctions regime I would have to bring a civil case, which is a ‘legal dispute between two or more parties’. It was, and still remains, my right as a citizen to do this, if I could afford it. As the police informed me, it wasn’t a criminal case because Iain Duncan Smith wasn’t breaking the law, sanctions have been around since the National Insurance Act 1911, my case, if I had one, was to pursue a conflict in statute law in which a judge would adjudicate.

Which roundabout route brings me back to crimes of innocence and why outrage is both entirely right and appropriate and yet hobbled. What we are up against is that most hideous of creatures, the Jobsworth, who obeys the letter of the law absent of any common sense, decency or rationality and who positively enjoys penalising people for no good reason. I give you, the Tory government, who are experts in achieving illegitimate ends by legitimate means: i.e. they have the legitimate means to deprive people of the means of survival through sanctions, the end is that people die either through penury or through suicide, and the government claim they’ve done nothing wrong in their twisted, perverse thuggery. Worse, they ladle the blame on us, who, were they to vanish in a moment (I wish), would carry on with our lives free of their vile perfidy and constant threat.

I recently quoted from ‘Britannia Unchained’, a book co-written by Kwasi Kwarteng, Priti Patel, Dominic Raab, Chris Skidmore and Elizabeth Truss, who castigate ‘the “baby boomer” generation for seeking to raise taxes for young workers to pay for their lavish pension pots’. In so doing they promote a lie and generate discord and hate for a crime of innocence, where pensioners have paid into their pension pot in good faith, over their working life times, to receive on retirement a state pension which is anything but lavish.

This stuff is as infuriating as it is teeth grindingly irritating, from self serving politicians making political capital out of our lives and a presumption of guilt for no crime we’ve committed either wilfully or in error.

And they know exactly what they are doing. It is enraging to watch their smirking faces when they are challenged in parliament and the lies with which they justify themselves and wilfully avoid any accountability whatsoever.

This country is ruled by the unjust and the innocent die. They have weaponised poverty and made of it a crime of innocence, for which the penalty is death by sanction in Britain’s filthy secret penal system, the Department for Work and Pensions.

Conditionality – obedience or death.

KOG. 11 April 2017

https://onlinelaw.wustl.edu/blog/common-law-vs-civil-law/

http://www.cpag.org.uk/content/regime-change-sanctions-and-law-claimants

Benefit Sanctions and the Rule of Law

03_august_2016

A letter a day to number 10. No 1,511

Wednesday 03 August 2016.

Dear Mrs May,

I wrote yesterday about a man who reported he was sanctioned for three months for making a spelling mistake. Such brutality for trivial reasons is not rare and I wonder if you have any idea what it really means to deprive someone of the means of survival?

The DWP sanctions regime is Britain’s secret penal system in which people are convicted and sentenced without trial and the penalties are far harsher than any court would impose.

Last year Dr David Webster of the University of Glasgow reported that in 2013 alone 1,122,526 sanctions were imposed compared to 849,000 fines by the courts. The scale of penalties from the DWP were more severe than the courts, £286.80 – £11,185.20 compared to £200 – £10,000 and that ‘Most sanctions are applied to poor people and involve total loss of benefit income’.

What is even more shocking and horrifying is that this state brutality, which has driven many to suicide, is treated as normal and routine. Oxford and Liverpool researchers found that suicides had increased in benefit test areas which could not be explained away by other factors, although the DWP has routinely denied any causal links between its treatment of claimants and death and suicide.

Alongside this regime of poverty and homeless inducing economic punishment, the DWP has adopted psycho-coercive techniques which both infantilize and dehumanise those on social security, even rebranding worklessness and disability as psychological disorders. The DWP has made extensive efforts to impose ‘mental health’ services and psycho-coercive treatment in Jobcentres and GP practices to coerce people into work.

Such practices are, for want of a better word, diabolical, as Psychologist and Psychoanalyst Dr Bruce Scott put it, “The joining of Government Health and Work Departments is not helpful, and current DWP policy intended to reduce the socio-economic causes of mental illness to the one simple fact of unemployment is clinically and intellectually ridiculous.” Worse, it is toxic and harmful to those it is imposed upon. It is not therapy, it is state imposed indoctrination or the imposition of the ‘Big Brother State’ which must never be tolerated.

The Labour party now has more members than all the other parties put together, you might like to wonder why? More and more people have had enough of state brutality.

https://thepoorsideoflife.wordpress.com/tag/sanction-targets/

http://stupidsanctions.tumblr.com/

https://www.crimeandjustice.org.uk/resources/benefit-sanctions-britains-secret-penal-system

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-34838539

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/may/13/suicides-of-benefit-claimants-reveal-dwp-flaws-says-inquiry

Resisting DWP Pyschocoercion

American influenced punitive UK welfare reforms

Labour Legend Dennis Skinner has a message for the PLP